After the listeners of France Inter, Laure, alias “the lady of the Odysseys”, now leads theater lovers in solving the mysteries of some major expeditions. On stage, she forms a duo of crazy investigators with Jimmy, a part-time waiter at the Happy Nouilles restaurant.
The faithful accomplices set sail with Louis-Antoine de Bougainville for the first French world tour by boat in 1766. We then found them, on the back of a camel, in November 1922 in the Valley of the Kings, in Egypt, in the company of the archaeologist Howard Carter in his quest for the tomb of Tutankhamun. Direction, finally, space, aboard the Apollo 13 rocket which almost collapsed around the Moon in April 1970. Each of these journeys reserves its dose of suspense. Thus, we tremble for the botanist Jeanne Barret who embarked, disguised as a man, to participate in the epic of Bougainville, at the risk of being sent to the penal colony – women not having the right, at the time, to navigate!
This beautiful “pestacle”, as the children, the main target audience for the play, would say, combines mimes, gags, dances, songs and storytelling. The rapid changes of scenery and costumes, lighting and music move the two actors from one atmosphere to another almost without a hitch. This express world tour, which is also a fun history lesson, takes a moving turn when Laure Grandbesançon – who plays the character of Laure, that of Jimmy being played by the actor Baptiste Belaïd – poses for five minutes in front of the audience and tells the story of his maternal grandmother born in 1917 in Shanghai, then under Western occupation. It was this grandmother who passed on to him her consummate art of storytelling and the desire to write the exploits of women and men with extraordinary destinies.
“The Odysseys” podcast: 90 episodes and more than 30 million listens
A desire which resulted, in June 2019, in the launch of the podcast The Odysseys . In less than four years and 90 episodes, it has become a huge audience success with more than 30 million streams. This gripping and well-documented audio series, directed by Charlotte Saliou, constitutes a first in France.
This visual spectacle will delight the youngest, and addresses many winks to adults, like the allusion – a tad offbeat – to nuclear tests in Polynesia, during the scene recounting Bougainville’s stopover in Tahiti.
For the rest, Laure’s infectious energy and Jimmy’s antics transport young and old to the ends of history and the world. A very beautiful moment.